What started out as a Beauregard Parish hog hunt last week didn’t end with any pork for Heath Davis — but he’s definitely not complaining.
The Leesville hunter had checked the trail cams on his lease last Monday morning, but instead of the daylight pictures of a nice 8-point he was hoping for, all he saw was hogs.
So he decided to return that afternoon, walk in to his lock-on stand near Singer and do a little hog control.
But he never made it to his stand - the biggest deer he’d ever seen in his life stopped him in his tracks about 4:30 p.m.
“When he stepped out there, I was like, ‘What in the world is that?’ I couldn’t really make him out. All I saw was this big body walk across the lane,” Davis said. “I said, ‘What is that? It’s either a really big hog or a small cow.’
“When I put my scope on him, by then he’d started walking towards me. I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s the 8-point.’”
Davis was still about 400 yards from his stand, which overlooked a lane between a swampy bottom from Bear Head Creek and a pine thicket. The deer was more than 150 yards away crossing the lane Davis was walking down, so he took a knee and watched the big buck turn and start heading straight for him.
“He had his head down and he was trailing a doe,” Davis said. “He never picked his head up one time.
“I don’t know what I’d have done if he’d have kept walking towards me.”
The oblivious buck finally turned broadside, and Davis, who was only braced against his knee, fired his 30-.06 as buck fever set in.
“I hit him high in the neck,” Davis said. “That’s why he fell. He sat there and tried to get up, but he couldn’t move.”
Davis patiently waited for about 30 minutes, but the big buck showed no signs of fading, so he crept forward until he was about 40 yards away for a behind-the-shoulder kill shot.
Still thinking he had taken down the 8-point from prior trail cam pics, the hunter was shocked when he moved in and saw a heavy-horned 13-pointer down in the lane.
“When I saw him laying down, all I could see was the antlers sticking up above the grass,” he said. “When I walked up and saw him, I liked to pass out.”
The 200-pound buck green scored 166 4/8 inches Boone and Crockett, with a 16 ½-inch inside spread and 24-inch main beams. He carried mass throughout the rack, and had 4 4/8-inch circumferences at the bases.
“There’s only one other person who saw him on the lease, and that was before the season even started,” he said. “That was the last time we got a picture of him.”
So while the hog hunt didn’t pan out as expected, Davis was thrilled to shoot the biggest deer he’d ever laid eyes on.
And it wasn’t easy - he drove in to Singer that morning, went back to Leesville for lunch, returned to the lease that afternoon and then went back to Leesville with the 13 point — a total of about 200 miles of driving that day alone.
He’s just thankful he decided to return for the afternoon hunt, a decision he made in part because it was his first year at the lease.
“The funny thing is this is the first year I have ever in my life hunted a lease. I’ve always hunted public land,” Davis said. “So I said, ‘You know what? I paid to get on this lease, so I might as well go out there.’
“So I went back and that’s what happened.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.